Renowned Gospel music pioneer and artist, Kirk Franklin and a number of celebrity friends kicked off BET’s “Saving Our Selves” relief concert last week by performing a new rendition of his gospel hit, “I Smile.”
Joining him on this were singers Kelly Price, Fantasia, and Tyrese Gibson, along with gospel singers Jonathan McReynolds, Melvin Crispell III, and Le’Andria Johnson to kick off the BET special.
“I Smile” was first released in 2011 and was awarded the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Song.
The new recording of “I Smile” is the first time R&B singer and “Fast & Furious” actor Tyrese Gibson, synonymously know as Tyrese, has been featured on a gospel recording. Tyrese wrote on his Instagram page:
“I didn’t think I needed this, but I do now,”
Tyrese would later go on Instagram to thank Kirk Franklin and everyone else who was involved in the project for helping put smiles on people’s faces and shaming the Devil in doing so.
The BET event was held to raise money to help African Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The network partnered with the NAACP, United Way Worldwide, civil rights groups and business communities to offer financial support and resources to benefit African American communities that have been most affected by the virus.
“Saving Our Selves” was hosted by actors Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall, Kelly Rowland, of Destiny’s Child and Terrence J.
The video of the new recording as well as the full event are available on YouTube. To see Kirk Franklin and friends perform “I Smile”, Click below: